Ruminating on Russian Writers

06 Jul

I picked up a nice Reader’s Digest edition of Boris Pasternak’s “Doctor Zhivago” at the local library book sale today. I had seen the movie with Omar Sharif many years ago and thought it was great, so I figured it was time to read the book.

Russian novels can be a bit overwhelming. I found that out by reading “The Brothers Karamazov” a few years back. They are also some of the most spiritual novels on the planet. The London Times once wrote of Pasternak’s masterpiece: “If one word could be used to describe this remarkable novel as a whole, it would be ‘religious.’ ” The same could be said of many works by Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy.

Interesting that a country noted for the brutal treatment of its people could produce such writers.


Posted by on July 6, 2013 in Uncategorized


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5 responses to “Ruminating on Russian Writers

  1. Mary

    July 11, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    I went through a huge Russian novel phase a few years ago where I ended up reading pretty much all the great ones within a few months. They are completely unlike anything I’ve ever read.

    But I’ve never gotten around to reading Doctor Zhivago, although I’ve seen both the Omar Sharif version and the more recent one with Hans Matheson and Kiera Knightley as Lara. It’s a running joke in our family that every time we end up in a hotel my dad seems to find the Omar Sharif version on TV, but never at the beginning. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen the beginning or the end of that movie!

    • Rob

      July 11, 2013 at 11:01 pm

      A couple of years back I made my way through The Brothers Karamazov. It was one of the most grueling reading experiences I’ve ever endured. Which isn’t to say it didn’t have its rewards. There were passages in there that were amazing. But whenever I see War and Peace or The Idiot sitting on a shelf I get this funny twinge just above my right eye.

      Why I picked up Doctor Zhivago, I can’t say. Maybe because I’ve seen the film, or maybe because the book didn’t weigh 4 pounds!

      Thanks for the info about the Matheson-Knightley film version. I didn’t know it existed! Will have to look it up. Thanks for stopping by. Be well!

  2. jubilare

    September 3, 2013 at 4:16 pm

    I need to do some reading in this quarter. It is intimidating, though, for someone like me who has a hard time with dyslexia. Large blocks of text are a real challenge for me, but perhaps it’s time to face up to the challenge again.

    • Rob

      September 4, 2013 at 12:34 am

      Intimidating AND overwhelming. It’s been a couple of years since I’ve read “Karamozov” and I still haven’t worked up the courage to tackle another Russian!


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